...Prayer is first and foremost about connection. For almost all those who come to shul, davening, or indeed one’s very presence in the synagogue—and at the Kiddush—strengthens a sense of connection with the community and with the Jewish people, past and present. For some, prayer brings about a connection with a divine presence. Some call that presence Hashem; some call it God. Yet others experience it as the force that animates all of existence. For some that presence is personal; for others it is cosmic.
In shul we leave behind loneliness and isolation. This is particularly true when we share with others our joys and sorrows through prayers for the ill, the recitation of kaddish, and the celebration of life-cycle events. When others comfort or congratulate us, we learn to value ourselves more because others care about us...more...
Eliezer Diamond on Meaningful Prayer
Eliezer Diamond ponders the modes of achieving meaningful prayer -- on the JTS blog: